Federal Tort Claims Act

There are many occasions when you or your family member faces an accident due to the negligence of federal or state employees. In such a situation you need to file a case against the government employee. According to the federal tort claim act, the citizens have the right to sue the United States in a federal court for most torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the United States

Sky Law Firm, P.A., have managed to secure exceptional recoveries for victims of accidents due to federal and state government’s employees’ negligence. We handle cases involving aviation, maritime law, and negligent healthcare at government-owned or military hospitals. There are many examples of mistreatment caused by the government employees; a doctor dealing with veterans might neglect the patient, and his mishandling can cause a death of the patient. Similarly, a law enforcement officer’s brutal act might lead to serious injuries of the victim. A contractor working on a government project may cause a construction accident.

Suing the federal government for a wrong doing is different from another type of cases. You need to hire attorneys with specialized knowledge and expertise for dealing federal cases. Attorneys at Sky Law Firm, P.A., have a proven track record litigating claims against the U.S. Government. We understand how to make the Federal government pay damages for losses and suffering caused by the negligence of public employees.

The court applies a test to determine whether conduct falls within the discretionary function exception. This test has two parts:

  1. The first thing to consider is whether the conduct involved “an element of judgment or choice.” This requirement is not satisfied if a “federal statute, regulation, or policy specifically prescribes a course of action for an employee to follow.”
  2. Once the element of judgment is established, the next inquiry must be “whether that judgment is of the kind that the discretionary function exception was designed to shield” in that it involves considerations of “social, economic, and political policy.”

In 1946 the United States Congress introduced the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). FTCA permits the private parties to sue the United States in a federal court for most torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the United States. The FTCA provides a limited waiver of the federal government’s sovereign immunity when its employees are negligent within the scope of their employment. Under the FTCA, the government can only be sued “under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.” Thus, the FTCA does not apply to conduct that is uniquely governmental, that is, incapable of performance by a private individual.

The FTCA further provides that the government is not liable when any of its agents commits the torts of assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, libel, slander, misrepresentation, deceit, or interference with contract rights. The government is not liable if the claim against law enforcement officers is for defamation, slander, misrepresentation, deceit, or interference with contract. Congress has not waived the government’s sovereign immunity against all law enforcement acts or omissions.

Furthermore, the FTCA is limited by many exceptions under which the government is not subject to suit, even if a private employer could be liable under the same circumstances. These exceptions include the discretionary function exception, which bars a claim “based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of a federal agency or an employee of the Government, whether or not the discretion involved be abused.” 28 U.S.C. S 2680(a).

The FTCA specifies that the liability of the U.S. is to be determined “by the law of the place where the [allegedly tortuous] act or omission occurred.” In action under the FTCA, a court must apply the law the state courts would apply in the analogous tort action, including the federal legislation. A plaintiff cannot bring an FTCA claim against the United States based solely on conduct that violates the Constitution because such conduct may violate only federal, and not state, law.

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